Airbnb or Serviced Apartments:

What’s best?

Over the past decade, the travel industry has changed massively. Private rentals and serviced accommodation are on the rise,  and staying in a hotel is becoming a thing of the past. Short-term stays in private apartments have become the most popular way to explore a new city or plan a corporate trip. Added with the array of self-catering accommodation options, it’s becoming increasingly tedious to choose a reliable place to book your next stay.

Is it better to book an apartment through a serviced apartment company or through an online apartment marketplace like Airbnb?

Take a look where Airbnb and serviced apartments differ and what you should consider when booking your next place to stay:


We would say the most important factors to consider when choosing a place to stay is consistency. One of the biggest issues with booking through websites like Airbnb is that there isn’t a way of knowing whether the apartment will be of a similar quality to one you may have previously stayed at using the site. For example, whilst you may have previously stayed in a clean and recently renovated space, there is no guarantee that the other apartments you stay in are going to be of a similar or better quality. This is not the case with serviced apartment companies, that build their name and brand around the services that they consistently offer. In layman’s terms: if you had a great experience staying with The Birchover Residences, there is a high chance that you will have a great experience the next time you choose to do so as well.

Quality Control

The factor that could make or break your next vacation is definitely the fact that serviced accommodation constantly pays attention to quality control; booking websites like Airbnb have no way to do this on a formal level. Quality control ensures that you are getting what you paid for – basically, we make sure the place you booked looks like it did on the advertisement and that it includes all of the amenities that were listed on the website. Does the place have wi-fi as promised? (ours is superfast by the way) Is it clean, tidy and safe? Is the furniture in a good condition? Airbnb has no way of guaranteeing these things, and this really is the bugbear of a lot of people. Reviews you read on the listing might be a good indicator of the quality of the rental most of the time, there is no way to be sure about it until you arrive and see the property for yourself. For us, we rely on the quality of the service provided. As a result, you can be sure that a lot of attention is paid to the quality of the apartment, the experience you will have, as well as that the amenities you are promised are indeed going to be present in your apartment. It’s all about consistency.

Customer Service

Another significant difference between a serviced apartment company and Airbnb is the booking process. The communication you receive with us is very different to that of an online booking site. When booking with The Birchover Residences, you will be in touch with our team, that hosts a thorough knowledge of each apartment, who will strive to offer the best personalised service possible. It’s smooth and it’s user friendly, and that you will know who to contact at all times should something go wrong. On the other side of the argument, through Airbnb,  you will most likely be in touch with the person you are renting the apartment from – but if something were to go wrong, the only point of reference you will have is the Airbnb support line, which deals with general issues, on a global scale. Meaning not only do you have a global customer base to contend with, the person on the other end will know as much about the property as you did when you first booked. If this wasn’t off putting enough, it’s all done online. Not great customer service if you ask us, especially when you compare the to the fact that you can call us at any time of the day/night and we will be there to answer your call.

Cost and Fees

The great benefit of booking a serviced apartment with us, is that the price you see is the price you pay. This means that there are no added or hidden costs to what is listed on our website. On the other hand, booking websites like Airbnb have a number of hidden costs and service fees. For starters, Airbnb charges a percentage of each night that you spend in your accommodation. Meaning that the price that is listed is usually not the price that you pay. As well as that, the person renting the apartment can choose a number of added fees (cleaning fees, deposit, etc.) which can massively change the overall cost. Some of these costs are hidden while others are visible – this makes for an unnecessarily complicated booking procedure, often leading to higher booking costs than expected.


While booking through Airbnb has its advantages and it’s definitely revolutionised the travel industry, professionally run, self-catered apartments are the future of travel and tourism. Serviced apartments offer a consistent service, pay a lot of attention to quality control, involve much higher levels of customer service and involve no hidden costs. Most importantly, by choosing to stay in a serviced apartment you will feel right at home and have at your disposal a team of dedicated people who are ready to help you feel right at home.

The Birchover Residences is a collection of luxury apartment-hotels based in Derby, Nottingham and West Bridgford – all in the East Midlands.

The Residences are renowned for the superb quality of service that we provide, the beautiful furnishings and the flexible range of accommodation.

We have 50 apartments ranging from Studios through 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom apartments. The apartment-hotels are primarily located in city centre locations in stunning converted Georgian and Victorian properties. We do have some suburban properties and our luxury Bridgford Hall apartments are located above a grand wedding venue. Bridgford Hall is perfect for wedding guests and anyone wishing to visit the beautiful West Bridgford or Nottingham area.

We are a family owned business and are really proud of the close relationships and customer focus that our team have with guests. Carl and Lisa Bridge have operated The Residences since 2008, having taken on a business which has been operating since 1997. So we turn 20 this year!

We’d love to hear from you! To book or ask any questions about our luxury apartment-hotels, please:

Telephone 01332 541154

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We all have a hoot at The Owl Shed, North Mill, Darley Abbey Mills, Derby, DE22 1DZ

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